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African Banker du 06-07-2020

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Date de parution 06 juillet 2020
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 81 Mo
3rd Quarter 2020Issue 52 An IC Publication BANKS RIDE COVID19 TEMPEST Innovation and customer care the watchwords
IN CONVERSATION: Moza Banco’sJoão Figueiredo; NSE’sGeoffrey Odundo; Islamic DB’sDr Bandar Hajjar; Backbase’sJouk Pleiter; JSE’sDr Leila Fourie; AGF’sFelix Bikpo; Fitch’sMahin Dissanayake.
COUNTRY FOCUS: Nigeria, South Africa.
FEATURES: Robust response from banks; Insurers step up to the plate; Strong banks vital for recovery; Digital financial inclusion, case studies.
EUROZONE €8.00, UK £6.00, USA $9.95, CFA Zone CFA5.000, Egypt E£80, Ethiopia R200, Gambia Da400, Ghana GH¢40.00, Kenya KShs800, Liberia $8, Mauritius MR300, Morocco Dh60, Sierra Leone LE 70000, South Africa R50.00 (inc tax), Tunisia DT7, Uganda USh30,000, Zambia ZMW 100, Other Southern African countries R49.00 (excl tax), Tanzania TShs20,000.
THE MIDDLE EAST’S BEST BANK FOR CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
United Kingdom IC Publications 7 Coldbath Square London EC1R 4LQ Tel: +44 20 7841 3210 Fax: +44 20 7713 7898 Email: icpubs@icpublications.com www.icpublications.com France IC Publications 609 Bat A, 77 Rue Bayen 75017 Paris tel: +33 1 44 30 81 00 fax: +33 1 44 30 81 11 email: info@icpublications.com www.icpublications.com
FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Afif Ben Yedder Directeur de la publication benyedder@icpublications.com GROUP PUBLISHER Omar Ben Yedder o.benyedder@icpublications.com EDITOR Anver Versi VP DEVELOPMENTSaliba Manneh s.manneh@icpublications.com ADVERTISINGadvertising@icpublications.com ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTORS Medrine Chitty, Baytir Samba, Nick Rosefield DISTRIBUTION distribution@icpublications.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Sophie Dillon PRINTERS Roularta Media Group Meensesteenweg 300 8800 Roeselare SUBSCRIPTIONS IC Publications Webscribe Unit 4, College Business Park College Road North Aston Clinton, HP22 5EZ UK Telephone: +44 (0) 1442 820580 contact@webscribe.co.uk www.africanbusinessmagazine.com/subscribe All pictures AFP unless indicated. Registered with the British Library. ISSN 17571413 ©2020 IC Publications Ltd N° DE COMMISSION PARITAIRE 0120 T 90333 Dépôt légal Juillet 2020
Cover Story Riding the Covid-19 economic tempest
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Editorial Arica’s bankers are Covid-19 heroes
News in Brief Banking sector news rom around the continent
African Banker’s World Who’s going where in the Arican banking industry
Cover Story Riding the Covid-19 economic tempest Covid-19 in Arica: Outcomes and scenarios
In Perspective Owning the digital journey
Banking in the Time of Covid19 Banks adopt robust measures against lockdown losses Healthy banks essential or Covid-19 economic recovery
In Conversation João Figueiredo, CEO, Moza Banco Felix Bikpo, CEO, Arican Guarantee Fund
Stock Market Debt relie – Arica’s agonising dilemma No choice or some Arican stock markets catch the virus Health investor dual-lists in Rwanda
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In Conversation Dr Leila Fourie, CEO, Johannesburg Stock Exchange Geofrey Odundo, CEO, Nigeria Stock Exchange
Country Focus Nigeria: Banks navigate turbulent waters Covid-19 sparks rush or digital banking Timely release o N150bn sukuk
In Conversation Mahin Dissanayake, Senior Director, Banks, Fitch Ratings
Spotlight Digital financial inclusion – Kenya and Nigeria case studies
Awards Arican Banker Awards
Covid19 Response Islamic Dev Bank pledges $2.3bn Covid-19 support
Insurance South Arican insurers step up to the plate
Country Focus South Arica: Buckling up or a bumpy ride
Get money to family for less – or for free
To help you go contactless and support your dependants while you’re staying out of physical contact, we’ve made key changes to the charges and transaction limits on our app.
On the Ecobank Mobile app – it’s now FREE to:
Send money via text or email
Create Virtual Cards
#StaySafe Go contactless.
Plus – it’s still FREE to: • Make payments/transfers from Ecobank to Ecobank accounts We’ve also increased transaction limits on Ecobank Mobile
Send money from Ecobank to Ecobank in your country
A N V E R V E R S I ,
ED ITO R
Africa’s bankers are Covid19 heroes
his isAfrican Bankermaga-zine’s îrst issue since the on-restTof the world begin to cautiously set of Covid-19 and it comes just as Africa and indeed the reopen their economies. Although the threat from the virus is still as dangerous as before, its trans-mission has greatly reduced as a result of lockdowns, social distancing and face-masks. Africa, so far, has been spared the worst health eects of the pandemic but it is far from being the time to relax containment measures. For most of Africa however, the lock-downs and consequent disruption to people’s livelihoods – mostly informal and day-to-day – have posed a greater threat. “You may or may not get the disease,” said a street hawker in Mom-basa, “but unless you work, you will certainly starve – and your family as well.” Fortunately a number of African countries, well aware of the situation, used a good deal of thinking and de-signed their lockdowns to ensure that people could go about their businesses while still maintaining preventative measures. Senegal has been outstanding in this regard. Some countries however, have once again let the continent down with over-aggressive and unimaginative clamp-downs, including beating people, shoot-ing them and using tear-gas, which is precisely the best agency to spread the virus. There should be and hopefully there
will be commissions of inquiry, espe-cially into the conduct of the police in some African countries. In the wake of the world-wide repugnance over the killing of George Lloyd by police in the US, brutality by authorities anywhere in the world can no longer be tolerated and a reckoning will be coming, sooner or later. But right now, the focus is on reopen-ing the badly damaged global economy. The Asian Development Bank estimates that the loss to the global economy could be between $5.8 to $8.8trn, equiv-alent to 6.4–9.7% of global GDP. This is of course a body blow to com-modity-exporting countries in Africa, many of whom were already struggling with the precipitous fall in the price of oil. One can expect a similar decline in demand for industrial minerals. However, the demand for Africa’s horticultural exports – fruits and veg-etables and even cut owers – has not declined in their main markets, mainly in Europe, although there has been a slow-down, due to the heavily restricted transport and logistics systems.
Firing up the economic engines It’s really a question of how quickly, and safely the global economic engine can be îred up. The recession has not been caused by weak economic fundamen-tals, it’s as if economies were suddenly frozen in situ. Once the thaw has set in, businesses should be able to resume and operate as they once did – although of course there
will be casualties and many ways of working and trading will have changed permanently. It was with this in mind that the developed countries put in place mas-sive, trillion-dollar economic stimulus packages. Somebody described this as “keeping a patient on artiîcial respi-ration until they can breathe on their own again”. African countries, with very few ex-ceptions, just don’t have the money to embark on such large-scale înancial interventions, but they too need to keep the patient alive until normal functions return. To do this, they have had to rely heavily on the goodwill and determi-nation of their private sectors, especially the banks. If the banks had seized up, African economies could have gone into a tailspin. But, as the articles in this special issue ofAfrican Bankershow, Africa’s banks have, by and large, risen to the challenge. They have been innovative, they have set up digital systems at re-cord pace, they have reduced interest charges, they have deferred repayments, they have given out loans even to SMEs and they have acted with compassion and responsibility. African banks – and insurers in some cases – have acted as heroes and we salute them. Making a shortlist of the best î-nancial organisations in Africa for our forthcoming African Banker Awards will prove to be more challenging this time around than perhaps ever before.n
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AFRICAN BANKER’S WORLDNEWS
ECOBANK NAMED MOST INNOVATIVE BANK IN AFRICA
Celebrating the receipt of a prestigious award, Ade Ay-eyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, said: “We are pleased to be recognised as the Most In-novative Bank in Africa by Global Finance. This attests to the strength of our brand in multiple countries across Af-rica, our unique pan-African platform, and our innovative banking products and solu-
tions made possible by the success of our digital trans-formation journey.” Awards were given to the Most Innovative Banks in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia-Paciîc, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and West-ern Europe. At the virtual awards announcements, the European editor ofGlobal
Finance Journaland leader of the Global Finance Awards evaluation team, Anita Haw-ser noted that the companies recognised for the awards stood apart and that the in-novations were in the context of product or process innova-tion. She said that the panel had ultimately been concerned with the eect of innova-tion in terms of addressing a speciîc need or creating value for customers, such as speeding up the credit re-view or lending process for small businesses, or enabling companies to remotely de-posit cheques without them visiting branches. Ecobank’s other recent awards include being recog-nised as the Best Retail Bank in Africa 2019 at theAfrican Banker Awardsand as the Best Digital Bank in Africa 2017 by Euromoney Awards.
ABSA CELEBRATES COMPLETION IN THREE YEAR SEPARATION FROM BARCLAYS
Absa Group, one of Africa’s largest financial services providers, is celebrating substantial completion of its separation programme from Barclays, three years after the start. The separation, one of the largest and most complex corporate programmes of its kind, followed Barclays’ 2016 decision to reduce its share-holding in the African group to a minority position. Barclays became the ma-jority shareholder in Absa in 2005 and the two groups sub-sequently integrated systems, processes and policies over time. “We are closing an im-portant chapter in the more-than-100-year history of the Absa Group as we wind up the last few elements of separa-tion,” said Absa Group Chief Executive Daniel Mminele. “We emerge from this chapter as a proudly in-dependent African bank, strengthened and enriched by our experience as part of the UK group. We have a great foundation to build on and full control to make the decisions that are in the best interest of our customers and other stakeholders across all the African markets we op-erate in.” (See also page 16.)
MOODY’S DOWNGRADES AFRICAN OUTLOOK
Moody’s has downgraded its outlook for banking systems in South Africa, Nigeria and Morocco amid concerns over the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic and tumbling oil prices. The ratings agency downgraded them from stable to negative, and said it expects the coronavirus to cause banks’ asset quality to deteriorate, put pressure on proîtability, and also hit economic growth in each country. Although the entire con-tinent of Africa currently accounts for less than 1% of the over 3 million con-îrmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, the continent’s exposure to natural re-sources and reliance on exports mean it is still sus-ceptible to global economic shutdowns. Already facing a reces-sion and a deteriorating sovereign debt proîle, South Africa will likely see the creditworthiness of its banking system weaken over the next 12 to 18 months as the coronavirus hits loan performance and proîtability while severely weighing on growth, ac-cording to Moody’s.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) President Ak-inwumi Adesina(below)has come under sustained scru-tiny in recent months due to accusations of nepotism at Africa’s largest multilateral lender. Although exonerated from an original set of ac-cusations from a 15-page report that whistleblowers submitted to the bank’s gov-ernors in January, the bank has bowed to US pressure to open an independent evalu-ation to once again look into the accusations that have been made against him. Adesina has had t he backing of many African countries and the request by the US will inevitably pit African shareholders against some non-regional ones. The US is the bank’s second-biggest shareholder, after Nigeria.
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It is somewhat unclear as to why all this has emerged so close to Adesina’s re-election. Despite not always see-ing eye to eye with his board, Adesina had had a good year leading up to 2020. He won approval from its 80 members last October to increase the bank’s capi-tal from $93bn to $208bn, a 125% increase. Adesina has vigorous-ly denied what he called “trumped-up allegations”, lashing out in a 27 Maystatement at “attempts by some to tarnish my repu-tation and prejudice the bank’s governance proce-dures”. Nigerian President Mu-hammadu Buhari told Adesina that the country “will stand solidly behind” him in his bid to remain at the helm of the bank.
TENSE TIME AHEAD AS AFDB BOSS SEEKS REELECTION